Memrise and learning Bengali/bangla

20140112-115048.jpg Lately I’ve been finding myself repeating such phrases as ‘how strange to have odd boots’ or ‘a beloved is adored’.

It’s not because I’ve taken to spouting nonsense (no more than usual at least), instead they’re part of a series of memes – learning aids – that I’ve been compiling on Memrise.

The online learning site is the latest tool I’ve been using to help me learn Bengali/bangla and so far it’s proving to be really useful.

In fact Memrise’s combination of flash cards, multiple choice questions, writing practice and gaming principles has quickly made it my favourite digital learning aid.

With a user-generated approach to courses it comes on like a Duolingo without limits. Crucially, as far as I’m concerned, this means that Memrise already has a handful of Bengali courses and that anyone can, as I’m doing, add more.

In fact, the only gripe I have with Memrise so far is that its iPhone app can’t quite cope with all the complexities of Bengali writing. It baulks at even displaying certain verb and other signs, i-kars are not placed before the letter they follow in pronunciation and it can’t cope with conjuncts at all, which means there are certain words that I’m never going to write correctly on the app.

Nevertheless, the site, and its free iPhone app or Android app, finally provide an online learning tool that can be used for Bengali to encourage you to regularly refresh your learning (‘growing’ it through frequent ‘watering’), reminds you to do this and gives you an easy way to go about it.

• Learn my ‘odd boot’ meme for অদ্ভুত (strange) and other common Bengali adjectives from a list compiled by Dr Hanne-Ruth Thompson, author of – amongst other Bengali books – the Bengali-English/English-Bengali Practical Dictionary

UPDATE: Thanks to writing this over the weekend and scheduling for publication today I missed out this really rather useful review by My Bangla Diary of Memrise Bengali courses

2 responses to “Memrise and learning Bengali/bangla

  1. I have trouble using it on my IPad but on the main computer it’s OK. There do seem to be some annoying bugs though and as Daisy points out Quizlet at least has a button ‘I was right’ whereas Memrise does not!

  2. Another thing you can do is to write a statement in english and start a conversation. As a bengali, I would love to clear your doubt.

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